These days social media can cover everything from a new product launch to an event. And if this doesn’t sound wild enough, today, there is a new format on the rise – Instagram shows. However, we won’t discuss the forms. Instead, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of good visual design for the growth and development of business accounts.
To understand the importance of graphic design for the growth of social media channels, we have first to investigate the main ways to grow your audience organically. If this a subject you’re interested in, don’t forget to read this article too.
How do brands grow on social media?
Users nowadays follow mainly accounts that share valuable insights. Most of us are active users of social media. And we use it to entertain ourselves or to learn new things as we scroll. Perhaps you’ve noticed that whenever you see a visual, including text or an intriguing photo that you have a hard time decoding, you read the caption to contextualize it. That’s because we – humans are genuinely curious, always seeking to learn more. And with social media, we get exposed to some random information, and if we find it intriguing, we may follow the account, just so we get lucky again and learn something new. Why? Well, as we said out of curiosity, but also from a psychological perspective, this way, users feel less guilt about spending too much time on entertainment. Learning something exciting justifies our time spent online. Businesses have understood that, so they try to create extra value for their clients and prospects. Some do it by unrevealing some exciting facts, organizing lives with people their audience would love to see, or even have morning training sessions like Ogilvy Lab. The goal is to make people stay longer on your profile, share it with friends, or reshare it on a story. This way, they double the exposure and touch new audiences. The effort pays off, but it takes time.
Find topics, thoughts, and quotes that resonate with your target. No one knows better what your clients like and what they want to hear. Businesses that have adopted a consumer-centric attitude are flourishing. Work on gathering an engaged community. Find topics that intrigue your clients, and work on your messages, so that your audience feels like you speak to them. Engage and listen to what they have to say as well. Asking questions and carefully reading the answers is something that will help you to address them better. Meaningful messages can inspire people or make them think from a different perspective. And of course, don’t just post something for the likes, do it if it is aligned with your brand’s personality.
To grow a social channel has a lot to do with making trendy visuals that people would love to reshare on stories. So working on the visual aspect of the message is worth the investment. By creating exquisite visuals, you double the chances someone will share it. If you have an inspirational quote, but with a crappy visual, well, probably your audience would like it but never share it. That’s because lately, Instagram has become more of a thoughtfully curated gallery than an instant platform. Our profiles serve as social evidence of our aesthetics. So if your content looks appealing to your audience, you may get lucky and get it reshared. Put in other words – create designs people would feel proud to share with their community is essential.
Good design will help you convert people who lend to your profile into followers. But let’s dig in deeper and see how to get there.
What are some of the steps to get your profile where you want it to be?
Create a mood board
If you want to take your social media account to the next level, it’s good to have a mood board of visuals that will help you define your aesthetics. Create a folder with photos, videos, and ideas familiar to what you have in mind for your account. Pinterest is also a great place to create moodboards, as the algorithm always finds some more inspiring content to offer you.
Having references to go back to once you’ve launched the account will help you arrive at the final destination. Those references are essential to keep you on track. In addition, your design team can recreate some of the visuals. But don’t fall into the trap of copying designs. Your profile needs authenticity. It’s better to combine styles to create something new. See an idea you love, find a way to upgrade it.
Set your goals upfront
Before jumping to something new, try and list your campaign goals. Then, get a solid understanding of what you want to acquire and how to do it. The main thing is to answer the following questions. And don’t worry if you feel like those are easy questions and struggle with giving precise answers. If they were this easy, we would all be influencers.
- Who is your target? What does your target like, prefer? We can give you a quick tip to explore some of your clients, the accounts they are following and interacting with. Instagram allows you to see the list of following accounts, so go ahead and explore their interests.
- Why are you posting this visual? Why is this campaign running? Is it because you want to check your reach or see the engagement rate? How do you see it affect your brand’s awareness?
- Are you aware of the best practices for posting – days, hours, hashtags, using carousel posts, or maybe using reels? Following the trends among the Instagram community is a tough job, but it’s fun too!
Ellen Lupton from Bazen Agency once said – “Think more, design less.” The best campaigns have a solid creative concept that ties all of the design elements together. And it’s this concept that will serve as a framework for the creative work. So having things clear from the start will help you untie the knots.
The basics when owning social media
Stick to a color palette
Colors play a huge role in social media. Not only on a single post but for the overall experience. Why? Because when someone lands on your profile, seeing a harmonious color palette speaks for the effort put in it. What’s more, having a set of colors corresponding to your brand’s primary colors is an excellent way to start. This will help you fortify the brand’s identity on social media. Then, of course, selecting additional colors is great, or as we mentioned, you can differentiate with other complementary colors for specific campaigns to make them stand out.
Choose a font
It’s all about consistency! Changing fonts too often isn’t a good idea. So take time to find typography that is the right fit for your business. Different fonts express different things. You can consult a designer before picking a font family and create a rule always to use that one. To help you out on this journey, Over offers a guide to fonts and connotations. Find it here.
Win the game with personalized templates
Personalized templates are a great way to fortify your brand’s image as they will be tailored for your needs. What’s more, it’s the perfect place to feature your brand’s core – logo, slogan, colors, and every other element you believe will reflect your essence. Those templates work well for story games where users fill in some interesting facts about themselves and tag friends. Honestly, those templates are one of the most effective ways to spread awareness.
What we’ve said about regular posts also goes for social media campaigns. Branding your campaigns both visually and through hashtags guarantees awareness. And while you may want to have similar branding on most publications, occasionally, refreshing the look of specific campaigns is cool. Why? It will help it set it apart from the rest. If your company wants to focus on a particular campaign and it’s the most important throughout the year, go ahead! Tracking user’s habits, we see that when a user lands on a new profile, they will first click the post they like the most and afterward on the post set apart from the others. To set it apart, you want to change the design and style of the post.
The design has the power to intrigue and excites people, so it shouldn’t be neglected. Keep in mind that it should still relate to your brand even when it offers a fresh look. People should easily connect it to the core of your brand identity. So we aren’t suggesting any drastic changes, instead of introducing a new detail to the concept. Whatever the detail is, align it with the overall brand identity. Such a thing won’t throw your audience off as long as the brand’s core aesthetic values are present.
Since we’ve mentioned unique designs for campaigns, we think that unifying those across all digital touchpoints is essential. This helps to create a cohesive visual experience.
Bear in mind, the designer’s primary job is to solve user’s challenges and satisfy their needs. If you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Let’s chat on Instagram: @ralev.design or find us on Facebook @ralevdotcom.